Food prices in the world rose by 28.1% in 2021, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This is according to data published on the website of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The index averaged 125.7 points for the year and 133.7 points at the end of December, down 0.9% from November but 23.1% higher than in December 2020. The increase in prices was the largest in recent years, with the cost of all major groups of agricultural products, not just grain and oil, rising.
Cereal prices reached the highest since 2012, up 27.2%. The cost of maize and wheat increased by 44.1% and 31.3% respectively. The only crop to fall in value last year was rice, down minus 4%. The organisation added that higher transportation costs were offset by increased competition between producers.
Vegetable oils and sugar went up the most among foodstuffs. Oils prices rose by a record 65.8% for the year and sugar by 37.5%, the highest since 2016. Dairy products went up by 16.9% and meat products by 12.7%. Lamb, beef and chicken showed the biggest increase.
It is noted that cheese prices went down slightly due to an increase in its production in Western European countries.
Experts linked the rise in prices to concerns about the effects of the Omicron strain of coronavirus on international demand, as well as an increase in common costs for producers, including energy and transport. Prices were also affected by a local failure of the wheat harvest and centralised purchases for reserves.